Baker Street - Active Travel Permanent Proposal 2021

Closes 5 Mar 2021

Opened 19 Feb 2021

Overview

Introduction

Back in July 2020, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the government launched the Active Travel Programme. This granted local authorities the authority to introduce emergency measures to support social distancing in towns, and as the use of public transport was not advised, to introduce pop up schemes to encourage local communities to walk and cycle as alternative ways to travel.

These emergency measures were intended to be for a minimum of three months, allowing residents and businesses the opportunity to experience the changes and to comment on them before a decision is made on whether to make the scheme permanent. 

The scheme has now been in place since October 2020, and it is now time, in partnership with residents and businesses who have been directly impacted by the scheme to decide if the closure should be made permanent on Baker Street. 

Background

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic and the unprecedented levels of walking and cycling across the UK, the government announced a funding package (Active Travel Programme) which gave authority to councils to implement schemes to support and encourage local communities to continue to choose active travel (walking and cycling) over car travel and public transport to get to their jobs, school, or go out to a place of leisure. 

Surrey County Council installed a total of 23 temporary schemes across the county which reallocated road space for people to walk and cycle and reduce the number of cars passing through residential areas. 

Baker Street is home to both a residential and business/retail community with a High Street, schools, and additional local amenities all in close proximity.  We chose Baker Street as a trial location as by introducing two abutting cul-de-sacs, in the form of a point closure,

through traffic would be reduced creating additional and safer space where the community could cycle and walk to access their homes, shops and schools.

Proposal – Low Traffic Neighbourhood

Pre Covid-19, the council used to receive numerous complaints about ‘rat-running’ in Baker Street.  Feedback since the trial began has indicated that some of the local community have enjoyed the reduced noise, and traffic. 

A Low Traffic Neighbourhood (LTN) aims to create an environment where the local people can feel safe to walk and cycle to access local shops, services, schools and visit friends.  By making the point closure permanent, Baker Street will be closed to through traffic which we anticipate will continue to offer the following benefits to the local community;

  • Make walking and cycling safer for all people including journeys to school
  • Safer environment for people to get active and stay healthy
  • A cycle and pedestrian friendly space for people to visit shops, cafes, restaurants
  • Improved air quality and a more pleasant place to live and work 
  • Reduced traffic levels, and thus decrease air pollution, noise and climate change emissions

Scheme Design

There will be few changes to the existing design of the point closure.  The location will remain the same to maintain the appropriate turning space for vehicles.  Measures to increase the turning space for vehicles are currently being investigated.

The road will continue to be fully accessible for pedestrians and cyclists, all other vehicles will have to use alternate routes for access.  Heavy Goods Vehicles will have access for deliveries to shops/businesses only.

The temporary planters will be replaced with permanent planters.  The bollard will remain as a key operated bollard. There will be no changes to the existing on street parking facilities either side of the closure, and Emergency Services will have access. 

Accessibility Improvements

Currently, there are several full height kerbs within Baker Street which present a significant barrier for wheelchair users, visually impaired, mobility scooter users and pedestrians with pushchairs.  “We will address the lowering of kerbs at key locations in line with guidelines which will help to improve accessibility and free movement for the local community.

Future Potential Measures 

Feedback received from the local community since the start of the trial, raised various concerns. The main point of concern is the junction turning movements with Monument Hill. Many of you commented on how difficult it is to turn right, from Baker Street.  Although, we are not proposing any changes to this junction, we will continue to monitor the effects of the closure on vehicle movements and may in the future look to amend the layout at this junction.

Funding

The scheme will be funded by the government’s Active Travel Programme.

What Happens Next

We would like you to give us your views on whether to make the point closure in Baker Street permanent. 

If you would rather have a paper copy of the survey, then please contact us by phone 0300 200 1003 or email at highways@surreycc.gov.uk

Please complete the short questionnaire plus any additional comments online by Friday 5th March 2020.

Feedback will be reviewed and analysed following the closure of the consultation. The findings will then be compiled into a consultation report and presented to the Local Committee for Elmbridge in March. The local committee in Elmbridge is made up of nine County Councillors, representing each of the divisions within the Borough, and nine Borough Councillors. Together they discuss and make decisions on a range of local services including highways and transportation.  The local committee will then make a decision on whether to make the scheme permanent or to revert Baker Street back to the way it was before.

Give us your views

Areas

  • Elmbridge

Audiences

  • Anyone from any background

Interests

  • Highways